Is there a way to determine a planes agility?

Discussion in 'Flight Test Data' started by [SC] Arachnicus, Sep 28, 2012.

  1. [SC] Arachnicus

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    Preformance stats wise is there a way to be able to determine how much a agility a plane has?
     
  2. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure how you are defining agility.
    The statistics will define manoeuvreability under different conditions which surely is a measure of agility. Values for properties like acceleration,rate of roll,radius of turn and rate of climb (amongst many others).
    Steve
     
  3. [SC] Arachnicus

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    Okay, let me simplify. This question is in reference to a game that's coming out that I am beta testing. If I was to list planes would someone be able to advise the most to least agile?
     
  4. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    I agree with stona. I have no idea how you are defining "agility".
     
  5. [SC] Arachnicus

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    General maneuverability.
     
  6. [SC] Arachnicus

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    Okay...

    I am beta testing a ww2 aerial combat game. This game will be coming out for the iPad, iPhone, and probably MAC. It's mostly a arcade game but has some simulation. The graphics are amazing but there is a issue with balancing all the planes.

    I understand there are all kinds of variables reference the planes. My question is, is that if I was to list the planes that will be in the game, would someone here be able to list them in the most maneuverable to the least maneuverable making the most agile one top and the least the bottom?

    I cannot give screen shots of the game yet because it's not out yet. I will post pics once I am given the green light to release teaser pics.
     
  7. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    I think if you gave us a list people would order them,quite reasonably (for the most part:) ) according to their interpretation of the various parametres. You would find a broad agreement but probably get as many different lists as people who contributed.

    At best it would give you a rough idea of a sort of "table of agility."

    Here's an example of the problem,in a highly simplified form.

    Plane A and plane B have roughly the same maximum speed at a given height.
    Plane A can out turn plane B
    Plane B can out roll plane A and accelerate faster in a dive.
    Plane A has a better rate of climb.

    Which is more agile? I have no idea. This is why pilots were taught to fight to the strengths of their aircraft and attempt to exploit the weaknesses of the opposition. It's also what makes the "which was the best fighter of 1940?" type threads pretty pointless.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  8. [SC] Arachnicus

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    Look at at a gaming point of view. If a p-51 was fur balling with a fw-190, which one has the advantage.
     
  9. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Which model P-51 and which model Fw-190? At what altitude?

    Generally speaking the Fw-190A was superior to P-47s and P-51s below 15,000 feet. At high altitudes the Fw-190A would generally be at a disadvantage.

    Fw-190D9 was arguably superior to most aircraft at any altitude. However it didn't enter service until August or September 1944.

    Fw-190F was a ground attack aircraft. It was quite capable below 10,000 feet (i.e. where it normally operated) but the additional armor protection made it less agile in a dog fight then a normal Fw-190A.

    All Fw-190s (indeed all German fighter aircraft) had a large firepower advantage over American fighter aircraft such as the P-51. That allows German aircraft to land critical damage with only one or two shell hits. Firepower is important for Boom Zoom tactics, which the Luftwaffe preferred.
     
  10. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    I'd say it would often depend on two factors,neither of which have anything to do with the two aeroplanes.
    1 Who sees who first
    2 Which is the more experienced/skilful pilot.
    Steve
     
  11. meatloaf109

    meatloaf109 Well-Known Member

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    I echo that, for example, Chuck Yeager in a P-39 vs. an inexperienced pilot in a Fw 190d.
    Money on Yeager!
     
  12. Jabberwocky

    Jabberwocky Active Member

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    There is no one figure to determine combat agility of WW2 aircraft.

    As a general guide, wing loading and power loading will provide the best points of reference for agility.

    That said, WW2 aircraft were highly complex machines and combat maneuvering is a highly complex subject. Their relative and absolute performance chopped and change markedly across the altitude bands, so what is true at sea level is not necessarily true at 10,000 ft or 20,000 ft or 30,000 ft

    In no particular order of importance, the following areas are useful when determining the agility of an aircraft:

    Speed. Measured through the altitude range. For example A FW-190A5 was faster than a Spitfire IX at sea-level, but slower above 25,000 ft.
    Turn. Both rate of turn (maximum degrees per second) and radius of turn (how wide the turn is). Also changes with altitude and speed. A Zero could easily out-turn a Spitfire Mk V at sea level and low speed, but couldn't do the same at 25,000 ft.
    Climb. Both sustained rate of climb (indicative of excess power) and zoom climb (more useful in a combat situation). At what altitude is the best rate of climb.
    Dive. Both acceleration into a dive, maximum limiting dive speed and controllability through the speed range. A P-40 had a very high limiting dive speed and reasonable dive acceleration, but it was also very difficult to hold straight and level in a dive. A Spitfire was slower to accelerate into a dive and rolled slower when at very high speeds, but it also much more controllable in a dive and had a higher limiting Mach number.
    Rate of roll. Both instantaneous rate of roll (basically, how fast the aircraft transitions from bank to bank) and maximum sustained rate of roll, which changes massively through the speed range. How good was the lateral control of the aircraft?
    Rate of pitch. How fast can the aircraft pitch up/down? P-47 has better elevator authority than a FW-190 or a Zero at high speed, but not at low speed.
    Rate of acceleration. How fast does the aircraft go from 200 mph to 250 mph in level fligth? Or from 250 mph to 300 mph? Is one faster than the other compared to contemporaries?
    Stall behaviour. At what speed does the aircraft stall (important in turning battles). Did the aircraft warn the pilot about an impending stall? Was the stall departure gentle or violent? Was the aircraft easy to recover from a stall.
    General stability. Was the aircraft positively stable around all three axis of flight? Did it tend to roll, yaw, or hunt due to lateral or longitudinal instability. Did it make a good gun platform?

    Everything is a trade-off.

    The P-47 was massive, heavy and ponderous in the turn at low altitudes. Yet, take it up beyond 20,000 ft and it was surprisingly agile, even against smaller, lighter opposition, as its massive turbocharged engine kept its sea level power all the way up to 20,000 ft.

    Another case would be the Zero. The aircraft was generally much more maneuverable than western fighters under 20,000 ft and when below about 300 mph. It could outroll, out-turn and out-loop any enemy fighter. Yet, when tested against the Spitfire V 20,000 ft, the Spitfire was found to be a better aircraft, being faster in both speed, rate of climb and better in rate of roll and matched in t
     
  13. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    The firepower advantage over American aircraft is over rated for fighter to fighter combat. More Fw 190A's with skilled pilots were shot down by 4 gun P-51B's than P-47s prior to D-Day and by the end of the war nearly as many Fw 190's were shot down by the B model alone than all the P-47s in the ETO. Go figure.
     
  14. [SC] Arachnicus

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    There is no probable way to be able to factor all of that in this game that's coming out. The amount of coding required for each individual plane to have all those factors would require a lot of space in a game for a mobile device. To factor in all of that would make the game many gig's of space that would consume most if not all of the devices memory to run smoothly.
     
  15. Zipper730

    Zipper730 Member

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    Are you talking about the peak rate of turn, how long it takes to go from 1g to 9g, control force loads, sustained agility (how many g's you can pull without losing speed) at given air-speeds, mach-numbers, and so on?
     
  16. pbehn

    pbehn Well-Known Member

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    Zipper, whatever he was talking about was four years ago.
     
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  17. Zipper730

    Zipper730 Member

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    Oh...
     
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